As an avid traveler with an RV, you know the thrill of having your own home on wheels. But, transporting your RV is not without its challenges. If you’re embarking on a long-distance move, keeping your solar panels safe and securely managed during the trip is crucial.
In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about handling your solar panel when transporting your RV, so you can hit the road with confidence and peace of mind.
Check Your Solar Panels Before Transporting
Before transporting your RV, check your solar panels to ensure they are in good condition. Look for any cracks, dents, or other damage that may have occurred during your previous travels or while your RV was inactive.
If you notice any issues, address them immediately before embarking. Contact a professional to repair or replace any damaged panels. Additionally, ensure that your solar panels are clean and debris-free during the trip.
For a more practical and safer solution, consider using a solar generator or portable power station, which is more convenient to use and easy to carry. You can simply put it into a specially-designed bag that provides better insulation and keep the device away from dust, moisture, scratches, and damping.
In this manner, when your RV gets to its destination, the solar panels are prepared for usage right away.
Find a Reliable Transport Service
If you’re planning to transport an RV with solar panels, finding a reliable shipping service that can handle your specific requirements is the most important thing.
A thorough research can help you separate the high-quality providers from the low-quality ones. Here are some tips:
- Look for specialized services. Start by looking for shipping services specializing in transporting RVs and motorhomes with solar panels. With their experience and expertise, these services can ensure that the solar panels are secured properly and arrive at your destination undamaged.
- Investigate the company’s credentials. Be sure that the company is licensed, insured, and bonded. Check if they have any safety charges or complaints against them. You can visit the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website to verify their credentials.
- Check for insurance coverage. Verify that the company provides comprehensive coverage and protection for your RV.
You can add A-1 Auto Transport to your list as it’s one of the most established shipping services in the country. Visit https://www.a1autotransport.com/ to see their portfolio in more detail.
Secure the Solar Panels
If you have solar panels on your RV’s roof, fasten them to prevent any potential damage. Use high-quality bolts and screw that can withstand wind and vibrations during transport. You can also use adhesive sealant or double-sided tape to provide extra support and prevent the panels from shifting.
If you’re unsure how to properly secure your solar panels, consult with your solar panel distributor or RV dealer for guidance.
Cover the Solar Panels
Covering your solar panels during the trip is an effective way to protect them from damage caused by external factors. A good quality cover will shield your panels from any flying objects, such as rocks, debris, or insects.
Make sure that the cover you choose is the right size and compatible with your solar panel model.
Minimize Exposure to Extreme Temperatures
Solar panels are designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures, but prolonged exposure to extreme heat or cold can affect their performance and lifespan. Installing the solar panels a few inches above the roof is advisable as it allows convective air movement to cool the panel.
If you’re transporting your RV in hot weather, use a cover to shield the solar panels from direct sunlight. In colder temperatures, your solar panels should be properly insulated to prevent freezing or cracking.
Remove the Panels Before Shipping
In some cases, removing the installed solar panels entirely may be safer before transporting your RV. This is especially true if it must go through areas with low-clearance bridges, narrow roads, or extreme weather conditions. But, of course, it shouldn’t be an issue if you use a solar generator or portable solar panels.
Keep in mind that removing your installed solar panels can be time-consuming and requires proper handling to avoid damage or injury. You’ll need help from a professional for the proper disassembly and storage of solar panels.
Turn Off the System
Turn off your solar panels when your RV is being transported. This is key to preventing damage or avoiding any possible electrical issues. Before departing, make certain the panels are deactivated and all wiring is in good condition.
Use a Solar Charge Controller
A solar charge controller is a device that regulates the flow of electricity from your solar panels to your RV’s batteries. It safeguards your batteries from overcharging, which can cause damage. It also helps to optimize your solar power usage.
In general, the solar charge controller will ensure that your system works efficiently and prevent any potential electrical issues. Solar charge controllers come in two varieties: maximum power point tracking and pulse width modulation. The ideal option for you will depend on the configuration and size of your solar panel system.
Plan the Route Carefully
Avoid unmaintained roads, routes with low-clearance bridges, and other potential hazards that can put your solar panels at risk. Constant vibrations and movement may cause wires to loosen, connections to break, and panels to shift, leading to potential damage.
It’s advisable to plan your route and research any potential restrictions that may affect the journey.
Onto the Next RV Adventures
Transporting your RV means considering the type of RV you have and the placement of your solar panels. Some RV models may require you to remove the panels completely, while others may allow you to fold or tilt them for transport. Understanding the specifics of your RV and solar panels is key to ensuring safe transportation.
Remember to consult with your solar panel manufacturer or installer for the best practices when transporting your RV. You can also ask the transport service provider to monitor your solar panels periodically during transit to make sure they remain in good condition.
By following the tips and precautions outlined here, you can ensure that your solar panels are safely secured, transported, and ready to provide you with clean energy on your next adventure.